This past Saturday, my wife Beth and I traveled to my hometown of Whitwell, Tennessee. We specifically went to see our nine year-old niece play her last softball game of the season. It was a tournament held in Bridgeport, Alabama. It was an all-day event and her team, the Inferno, were put out of the tournament after winning two games and then losing two. As we were packing up for the day, we noticed a buzz in the crowd around us. There were camera flashes and loud conversations and it seemed to be centered on one person. The person was a younger man who appeared to be in his early thirties. I couldn’t tell much about him from my vantage point. We asked someone close to us what the excitement was all about. We were told the young man was an up and coming country music star and had a song that is currently getting some air-time. So, Beth was determined to find out who this was. Personally, I love all kinds of music. My tastes are mostly rock/alternative, but I do have my country roots too. I’m kind of all over the map in that regard. My only problem is that I don’t listen to the newer stuff. That’s mostly because I’m usually listening to an audio book or other music I already own. So, the point is I’m just not in the loop on new artists. A few minutes later, my wife returns with the low-down. As she focused my attention on the guy, I noticed he had that look about him. Good looks, confident, and very friendly with the people around him and not shy at all. He seemed to be patient and accommodating to his collection of fans. A line had formed to get a piece of whatever they could of him, be it an autograph on a softball or a photo opportunity. Beth then began to tell me what she found out. His name is Jacob Lyda and he was from the area. At the time, I assumed he was from Bridgeport. Later, I read he was actually from Stevenson, which is a small town just south of Bridgeport. Beth also said that not only did he have a single being played on the radio, but he also had a video getting airplay on Country Music Television (CMT). So, we debated whether we should bother this guy for a photo op or an autograph and decided against it. The main reason is because we assumed he was there for one reason which is to watch his daughter play softball. Her team was playing for the tournament championship. He was being interrupted enough and we didn’t want to add to it. We walked away hoping we didn’t regret that decision.
The next day, Beth and I were talking about Jacob again. She pulled out her phone and looked him up. Sure enough, there he was in a picture from a Google search. There was a link to a Youtube video of his current single I'm Doing Alright. So, she hit the play button to play the song. I was completely blown away. He has an amazing voice with a lot of range. It’s a strong and deep sound on one end with a clear high tenor at the other. Most of the time, Jacob’s voice reminds me of John Anderson. It’s a sound that different and addictive and I will definitely buy the album once it comes out.
At the moment, the only single being promoted from a pending album is I’m Doing Alright. It’s a catchy song with great lyrics and message that seems to fit his voice perfectly. Hopefully, the release of the album and his other songs is coming soon. However, there isn’t any news of that on his web site. According to his Wikipedia page, the album title is Another Song I Just Had to Write. Only the single is available on iTunes and Amazon. The music section of his website lists several more songs. I have listened to some of them on Youtube and they are all consistent with I’m Doing Alright in terms of quality. So, maybe they will put news out soon on the album release. In the meantime, I am providing links below for several ways to listen to his music. Even though Stevenson, Alabama is thirty miles from my hometown of Whitwell, I consider him a hometown boy and am proud he is getting his break. From what I observed of him at my niece’s softball tournament, he’s a very humble and impressive guy and I wish him the best of luck. Give him a listen if you get the chance.
MP3 Single on Amazon: I'm Doing Alright
MP3 Single on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/im-doing-alright-single/id414041797
Jacob’s Youtube Channel
Main Website: JacobLyda.com
Wikipedia Page: Jacob Lyda on Wikipedia